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In the world of fantasy and sci-fi movies there are lots of things for adults and children of all ages to get excited about. The magical special effects. The immersive stories. The awesomely imaginative on-screen weapons. But, possibly most of all, everyone gets excited about the toys.
Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is quickly rounding the corner to being in theaters children (and their penny-pinching parents) are eagerly waiting for the toy mayhem to commence. But, according to an interview in Fast Company with Hasbro's Star Wars design director, the producers of the new movie would like to avoid spoiling the story by releasing certain items at the wrong time.
Star Wars is such a great movie, that the director and Lucasfilm, quite rightly so, want to keep the surprises for the fans controlled.
The filmmakers have decided on a carefully staggered approach to letting the public see which products and when, and they’re hoping this method keeps the movie’s secrets secure.
It’s like any great marketing campaign. You release when it’s right for the story. And in the case of Star Wars that story is not just the movie—that story is the whole brand and the whole way it’s portrayed and played out to the audiences as well. As we lead up to December 18, there’s a certain amount that gets released. There are certain surprises from our product line that no one knows about, that we’ll release leading up to the movie, at the movie, and beyond the movie.
Films with large hopes on toy and other merchandise sales can sometimes be a bit shortsighted when planning the release of these products. Just this year Marvel allowed toys to reveal major plot points in Ant-Man and, Avengers: Age of Ultron
The Force Awakens has promised some mighty great plot twists in the new film, and fans are, indeed, awaiting this movie as though the much maligned prequels never existed. (That’s how I prefer to see it, anyway.) The only question now is how worthy of our sweaty-palmed excitement the new film will end up being.
The Star Wars franchise is, obviously, one of the most beloved film series of all time. Over the years, people have been known to camp outside of theaters for days in all kinds of weather just to be one of the first in line to see the movies. I’ve never been that ambitious when it comes to seeing any movie, and most folks aren’t, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love those fanatics for holding on to something they care about.
I was in a popular retail store about two weeks ago and, in passing by the toy section, noticed that they already had a whopping six isles set aside just for items from The Force Awakens. At first glance it seemed a bit overly optimistic.
Who am I kidding, though? I remember fondly my tiny toy R2D2 and C3PO, which I buried in our flower bed out back. My giant whoom-whooming light saber. Even my glow in the dark paint by numbers Luke-gets-his-hand-cut-off picture and my Return of the Jedi Monster Activity Book. (Which I still have and use for the cookie recipe, by the way.) If anything, six isles might not be enough.
So, fans trolling toy shelves close to the movie's opening day are unlikely to catch any new information by way of the available products. And, woe to those who enter any store selling The Force Awakens merchandise between the film’s opening and Christmas. Not even the Force could save you from that onslaught.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released on December 18.